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, at the first debate between john mccain and barack oba, which was this date four years ago, the focus was the war. in fact, both wars. >> do you, senator mccain, much has been said about the lessons vieam what do you see as the lessons of iraq? >> i think the lessons of iraq are very clear that you cannot have a failed strategy. thanks to this great general david pa tray yous, they are succeeding and winning in iraq. >> whether we should have gone in the war in the first place. six years o ood a opposed this war. we hadn't finished the job in afghanistan. we hadn't caught bin laden. we hadn't put al qaeda to rest. and as a consequence, i thought that it was going to be a distractio no senator mccain and president bush had a very different judgment. >> so that was this date, 40 days out from the election in '08 and 40 days out from the election in '04. in '04 the campaign was consumed with the debate over aleast one of our wars. 40 days out from the election in '08, in e mit ofhe fiialt tamn was consumed with both of the wars. now it's 2012 and we're 40 days out from the election this
. the closest we've gotten to any competing cont republican tin wa pbl wt sator john mccain at the republican convention when he said that the afghanistan war just shouldn't end. he also thinks that the iraq war shouldn't have ended. so i'm noture that it's a politicallviable position. even if it is an internally cogent one from the senar. fois yr'mi i apparently just not going to happen. not unless he starts it now. 40 days out, mitt romney did get as close as he gets to talking about the issue today. in that he spoke before a group of veterans and talked about a concern about veterans. even if he didn't say what he wa to do about tt con. mr. romney, in fact, implied that the sequester that might result in defense cuts that his running mate paul ryan voted for, he impliethat would hurt suicide prevention programs for veterans even though the v.a. would be exempt from that, so i'm not sure he even understd what it wahe was talng out. bu l hied. at least veterans got a mention from him. even if it didn't make sense in policy terms. you do know that defense and veterans are two different -- at
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